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Process planning for the manufacturing win

By Eric Larson 

What is process planning? 

Process planning is a step, typically completed by the manufacturing or operations departments, within engineering or manufacturing companies.  At a high level, process planning documents the steps and processes used to manufacture, inspect, assemble or repair a product. It serves as a preparatory step to help determine the sequence of operations or processes needed to produce a part or an assembly.

How to best utilize process planning for your business

There are many different ways process planning can be done, but you need a system that can reuse information created in the product definition.  This includes the CAD data, part and BOM definitions, reference tooling, standard materials, key characteristics, etc.  

For those who have experience with ERP systems, this represents routing information in a more detailed way. Process planning eliminates steps and streamlines communication. 

Common process planning challenges

A common challenge with process planning is ensuring the data you are consuming and/or referencing is the latest and greatest, and that you are reproducing it and not recreating it.  This is where an eye towards the digital thread of connecting your systems and processes is very important.  When was the last time you produced a product to an outdated specification and had to scrap and start over? Avoid this with process planning. 

Solutions with Element Consulting

To be effective, process planning must be tailored to its environment. It should be specific to the type of manufacturing, assembly, fabrication, continuous process or lot based production.  So, where do you start and what process is best for your business? We can help  you determine which systems and processes will enable the right business process, get early manufacturing engagement, utilize the right engineering content and guide solutions. Let’s talk